About two years ago, the movie The Man (starring Samuel Jackson and Eugene Levy) hit movie theaters with underwhelming success. True, it left much to be desired, and had I seen it in the theater I might have been disappointed I couldn’t get that money or time back. Admittedly, however, I found the interaction between over-talkative, naive fuddy-duddy salesman (Levy) and cool, but angry under-cover agent (Jackson) mildly amusing…even to the point of a few bursts of laughter out loud. One scene in particular remains lodged in my mind. Jackson commits some sort of questionable act or crime (I don’t remember) and tells Levy to get into the car. Before Levy gets into the car he looks at Jackson and slowly and deliberately blinks both eyes at the same time. Then he tells Jackson, “I’m taking a mental snapshot of you.”
I think about that scene periodically because sometimes I wish I could take real pictures I could keep forever from the perspective of my eyes. I don’t trust my brain to remember all of those shots in as clear details as my camera captures. Shots like my daughter as a baby sleeping peacefully on my shoulder. You could never get the camera angle and distance just right to see it from my perspective. Or when we look at each other nose to nose and she cups my face in her little hands.
So I do take those mental snapshots and do my best to remember them with the highest resolution possible. I thought of this scene again, as I walked around last week taking mental snapshots of my husband before he left on his trip.
Playing in the yard with my daughter. Snap.
Asleep in bed next to me, snoring ever so slightly. Snap.
Coming in the door from work. Snap.
I’ve never been nervous about him going anywhere – not even Africa. And I wasn’t about this trip, either, until a friend asked him (out of curiosity) if we had had a discussion about the “what if.” I don’t think I was naive in not having thought something could possibly go wrong. I certainly recognize it could. In my mind, though, I knew something could happen on his way to work just as easily (and probably more likely) as it could on this trip. Sure, Sudan isn’t the safest place in the world…but neither is New York City. And Sudan and Africa in general are not unknowns to me; I’ve been there. But the question planted a small seed of doubt in my mind, and for the first time I felt a little nervous.
At first, I didn’t even realize that I was taking those snapshots “in case.” I don’t really think anything dangerous is going to happen, but in the back of my mind is that seed of worry. I’m thankful that it’s there because it gives me a deeper understanding and connection with those (like our parents) who are openly anxious about his safety. My prayer is that he comes home healthy and safely, with many stories to tell about the exciting things he has witnessed God doing. Ultimately, though, my prayer is that God’s will is done through his going there, and that his sacrifice to go – however great it might be – will bring glory and honor to the One who sent him.